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Let's Hear It

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Let's Hear It

Let's Hear It

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About Us

Welcome to Let’s Hear It, a podcast about foundation and nonprofit communications (among other things), hosted by non-relatives Eric Brown and Kirk Brown. Let’s Hear It is sponsored through generous contributions from the Communications Network and the Lumina Foundation. On Let’s Hear It, Kirk and Eric speak with leaders in the field about who they are, what makes them tick, and how they think about their work.

Latest Episodes

Annenberg Foundation's Cinny Kennard and the Civic Duty of Philanthropy

Eric interviews a truly great interviewer: Cinny Kennard, Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles. Cinny has had a long and fascinating career in the world of radio and television journalism. Her work includes coverage of the Anita Hill - Clarence Thomas sexual harassmentcontroversy, the 1992 U.S. presidential election, the Persian Gulf War, and hundreds upon hundreds of interviews with the Royal Family, notable politicians, and world leaders, among many others. Her work has taken her from CBS to NPR to Annenberg, with some other exciting stops along the way. Now the executive director of the Annenberg Foundation, Cinny talks with Eric about the legacy of the Annenberg family in Los Angeles, how to make journalism a respectable profession, and a foundation’s duty to the communities it serves. Her opinions on philanthropy may be unconventional, but her commitment to finding better, kinder, and more lasting solutions to challenges in our modern world is palpable. She is truly a force to be reckoned with.

36 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Annenberg Foundation's Cinny Kennard and the Civic Duty of Philanthropy

Professor john a. powell will change your life

There are people who come along who don’t just change the way you think or how you do your job, but who just change you – they change the chemical makeup of your body. Professor john a. powell is one of those people. john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and a wide range of issues including race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. He is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley (formerly Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), which supports research to generate specific prescriptions for changes in policy and practice that address disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomics in California and nationwide. In addition to being a Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. If you don’t know john’s work (and Eric and john speak about why he doesn’t capitalize the letters in his name) you are in for a rare treat. Even if you do know about john, we think you will get a glimpse of him that is new and incredibly fun. (And you will also hear the story about how john and Eric got separated in a Havana disco.) In any case, we think that this episode of Let’s Hear It will have a profound effect on anyone who tunes in. Thanks for listening!

65 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Professor john a. powell will change your life

Season Two is Here!

Thank you so much for listening to Let's Hear It. It's been a wonderful year, and we're so excited to kick off our second season. In this special episode, Eric and Kirk sit down to talk about their favorite Let's Hear It moments in 2019, what they've learned hosting and recording, and what they're looking forward to in this next year of podcasting. If you've ever had any questions about the podcast process, or just like hearing Eric and Kirk banter like two old biddies from the Upper West Side, this fireside-ish chat is worth the listen. Thanks again for listening!

25 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Season Two is Here!

PICO's Ben McBride Practices What He Preaches

After spending a number of years in Oakland as a pastor, Ben McBride decided to move his family into a part of Oakland that was known for its challenges in order to better understand the lives of the people he hoped to serve. What happened next, as Ben tells Eric in our latest episode of Let’s Hear It, is not just great storytelling, it’s what makes Ben such a powerful AND delightful advocate for social justice. (We won’t give away the ending, but it’s a GREAT story.) Ben is now the co-director of PICO California, a grassroots organization that helps people of faith to build power to reshape their lives and their communities. He has been addressing the challenges of race and belonging for over a decade, and he sat down with Eric to have the kind of conversation that many people find difficult, if not impossible. If you care about these issues, we think you’ll love this episode.

54 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
PICO's Ben McBride Practices What He Preaches

Apolitical’s Lisa Witter Teaches Us That Bureaucrats Are People Too, and Much More

Lisa Witter has always played to win. Since coming into the world "with a bang" after her mother went into labor at a demolition derby, she has focused on the intersection of politics and communications. Running for president on Showtime's American Candidate, writing The She-Spot: Why Women are the Market For Changing the World and How to Reach Them with Lisa Chen, becoming the head of Fenton Communications at age 25. These are just a few of her wins. As Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Apolitical, she has married behavioral science with public policy and created a peer-based learning platform to teach public servants the skills to help society flourish. Bureaucrats are not just people, she tells Eric, they control forty percent of global GDP. By the way, she's also released a webinar entitled How to Persuade Others Using Behavioural Science. Believe us: after listening to Lisa, you'll be running to sign up for this master class. She and Eric sit down to talk about her colorful career and how brain games help her do her job. It'll both entertain and teach you (just like Seinfeld's wife's beet chocolate cake), but most importantly, this episode may just change the way you think about communications for social change.

54 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Apolitical’s Lisa Witter Teaches Us That Bureaucrats Are People Too, and Much More

Drew Altman of the Kaiser Foundation Pens a Love Letter to Communications

Drew Altman took a relatively small grantmaking foundation and transformed it into a media powerhouse. As the President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, better known as KFF, Drew has turned his organization into one of the most influential and valuable non-partisan sources of health news in the country. What other foundation can say that about their field of interest? Drew sat down with Eric to talk about how Kaiser has charted new territory in the field of news media at a time when in-depth coverage of a host of important issues is becoming much harder to come by. And don’t miss Drew’s full-throated endorsement of the role that communications plays in advancing the goals of foundations and the nonprofits they support. It’s practically a love letter to communications!

61 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Drew Altman of the Kaiser Foundation Pens a Love Letter to Communications

Villy Wang Blazes a Trail

Villy Wang's mother wanted her to be a corporate lawyer. Raised by a single mother in public housing in New York, she was supposed to be a hard-charging, successful professional - a leader in her field. And she certainly is, but what she created is not quite what her mother had in mind. Villy is the Founder, President, and CEO of BAYCAT, a non-profit organization that takes youth development and education, media production, marketing and advertising, social entrepreneurship, job training, economic and community development, arts, music and urban culture, and throws it in a blender. What comes out of that extraordinary mix is one of the most interesting, exciting ways to work with young people who deserve a chance to soar, as well as a company that produces media for a wide range of organizations and institutions. Oh, and Villy (who, we are proud to say, is an avid listener of our show) is a hoot – she and Eric sat down at BAYCAT’s studios in San Francisco for a lively whirlwind of a conversation. Don’t miss this one.

59 MIN2019 OCT 31
Comments
Villy Wang Blazes a Trail

Trabian Shorters Takes Us To School at ComNet 2019

This is the third in our bonus series of keynote speeches from ComNet 2019. Trabian Shorters is the CEO and Founder of BMe Community, which provides fellowships for Black leaders in the US, and which trains organizations in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Trabian’s amazing talk explains his work to promote what he calls “asset framing” – describing people by their aspirations and talents rather than a perceived challenge or stereotype. If you are working in social justice in any way, shape, or form, you simply MUST listen to this incredibly valuable lesson in effective communications. This episode is long, but it’s worth it!

76 MIN2019 OCT 24
Comments
Trabian Shorters Takes Us To School at ComNet 2019

Desmond Meade Unites the Voters of Florida in the Cause of Justice

In 2018, Desmond Meade helped pull off the unthinkable. He united Florida voters by leading the campaign to pass Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative that restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. The initiative passed by nearly thirty percentage points – a rout in a state that is famous for being split down the middle. The following year Desmond was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. In October of 2019, Desmond received the Clarence B. Jones Impact Award from the Communications Network. The award is presented to a leader who has used strategic communications and data to demonstrably elevate and advance issues, influence attitudes and beliefs, and inspire action in pursuit of social change. In this special edition of Let’s Hear It, we present Desmond’s acceptance speech, which co-host Eric Brown called one of the “most exciting and meaningful twenty-seven minutes I have ever experienced.” Desmond tells the story of his own struggles with addiction, incarceration, and redemption, and leaves us all with an extraordinary lesson about how to unite people across their differences. You absolutely, positively don’t want to miss this episode.

34 MIN2019 OCT 22
Comments
Desmond Meade Unites the Voters of Florida in the Cause of Justice

Stacey Abrams at ComNet 2019 – Let’s Get to Work

Stacey Abrams is one of the most exciting and inspiring leaders of our time. Last week, she came to the Communications Network conference and gave the kind of speech that reminds us why we're in this business. Then she sat down with Communications Network CEO Sean Gibbons and took questions from the audience of a thousand people who had listened with rapt attention punctuated by explosions of laughter, applause, and gratitude. If you missed this amazing event, we've captured it here for you. If you heard it and were blown away like so many others, you might like to listen again. In either case, it was an extraordinary moment.

64 MIN2019 OCT 9
Comments
Stacey Abrams at ComNet 2019 – Let’s Get to Work

Latest Episodes

Annenberg Foundation's Cinny Kennard and the Civic Duty of Philanthropy

Eric interviews a truly great interviewer: Cinny Kennard, Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles. Cinny has had a long and fascinating career in the world of radio and television journalism. Her work includes coverage of the Anita Hill - Clarence Thomas sexual harassmentcontroversy, the 1992 U.S. presidential election, the Persian Gulf War, and hundreds upon hundreds of interviews with the Royal Family, notable politicians, and world leaders, among many others. Her work has taken her from CBS to NPR to Annenberg, with some other exciting stops along the way. Now the executive director of the Annenberg Foundation, Cinny talks with Eric about the legacy of the Annenberg family in Los Angeles, how to make journalism a respectable profession, and a foundation’s duty to the communities it serves. Her opinions on philanthropy may be unconventional, but her commitment to finding better, kinder, and more lasting solutions to challenges in our modern world is palpable. She is truly a force to be reckoned with.

36 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Annenberg Foundation's Cinny Kennard and the Civic Duty of Philanthropy

Professor john a. powell will change your life

There are people who come along who don’t just change the way you think or how you do your job, but who just change you – they change the chemical makeup of your body. Professor john a. powell is one of those people. john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and a wide range of issues including race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. He is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley (formerly Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), which supports research to generate specific prescriptions for changes in policy and practice that address disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomics in California and nationwide. In addition to being a Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. If you don’t know john’s work (and Eric and john speak about why he doesn’t capitalize the letters in his name) you are in for a rare treat. Even if you do know about john, we think you will get a glimpse of him that is new and incredibly fun. (And you will also hear the story about how john and Eric got separated in a Havana disco.) In any case, we think that this episode of Let’s Hear It will have a profound effect on anyone who tunes in. Thanks for listening!

65 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Professor john a. powell will change your life

Season Two is Here!

Thank you so much for listening to Let's Hear It. It's been a wonderful year, and we're so excited to kick off our second season. In this special episode, Eric and Kirk sit down to talk about their favorite Let's Hear It moments in 2019, what they've learned hosting and recording, and what they're looking forward to in this next year of podcasting. If you've ever had any questions about the podcast process, or just like hearing Eric and Kirk banter like two old biddies from the Upper West Side, this fireside-ish chat is worth the listen. Thanks again for listening!

25 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Season Two is Here!

PICO's Ben McBride Practices What He Preaches

After spending a number of years in Oakland as a pastor, Ben McBride decided to move his family into a part of Oakland that was known for its challenges in order to better understand the lives of the people he hoped to serve. What happened next, as Ben tells Eric in our latest episode of Let’s Hear It, is not just great storytelling, it’s what makes Ben such a powerful AND delightful advocate for social justice. (We won’t give away the ending, but it’s a GREAT story.) Ben is now the co-director of PICO California, a grassroots organization that helps people of faith to build power to reshape their lives and their communities. He has been addressing the challenges of race and belonging for over a decade, and he sat down with Eric to have the kind of conversation that many people find difficult, if not impossible. If you care about these issues, we think you’ll love this episode.

54 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
PICO's Ben McBride Practices What He Preaches

Apolitical’s Lisa Witter Teaches Us That Bureaucrats Are People Too, and Much More

Lisa Witter has always played to win. Since coming into the world "with a bang" after her mother went into labor at a demolition derby, she has focused on the intersection of politics and communications. Running for president on Showtime's American Candidate, writing The She-Spot: Why Women are the Market For Changing the World and How to Reach Them with Lisa Chen, becoming the head of Fenton Communications at age 25. These are just a few of her wins. As Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Apolitical, she has married behavioral science with public policy and created a peer-based learning platform to teach public servants the skills to help society flourish. Bureaucrats are not just people, she tells Eric, they control forty percent of global GDP. By the way, she's also released a webinar entitled How to Persuade Others Using Behavioural Science. Believe us: after listening to Lisa, you'll be running to sign up for this master class. She and Eric sit down to talk about her colorful career and how brain games help her do her job. It'll both entertain and teach you (just like Seinfeld's wife's beet chocolate cake), but most importantly, this episode may just change the way you think about communications for social change.

54 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Apolitical’s Lisa Witter Teaches Us That Bureaucrats Are People Too, and Much More

Drew Altman of the Kaiser Foundation Pens a Love Letter to Communications

Drew Altman took a relatively small grantmaking foundation and transformed it into a media powerhouse. As the President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, better known as KFF, Drew has turned his organization into one of the most influential and valuable non-partisan sources of health news in the country. What other foundation can say that about their field of interest? Drew sat down with Eric to talk about how Kaiser has charted new territory in the field of news media at a time when in-depth coverage of a host of important issues is becoming much harder to come by. And don’t miss Drew’s full-throated endorsement of the role that communications plays in advancing the goals of foundations and the nonprofits they support. It’s practically a love letter to communications!

61 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Drew Altman of the Kaiser Foundation Pens a Love Letter to Communications

Villy Wang Blazes a Trail

Villy Wang's mother wanted her to be a corporate lawyer. Raised by a single mother in public housing in New York, she was supposed to be a hard-charging, successful professional - a leader in her field. And she certainly is, but what she created is not quite what her mother had in mind. Villy is the Founder, President, and CEO of BAYCAT, a non-profit organization that takes youth development and education, media production, marketing and advertising, social entrepreneurship, job training, economic and community development, arts, music and urban culture, and throws it in a blender. What comes out of that extraordinary mix is one of the most interesting, exciting ways to work with young people who deserve a chance to soar, as well as a company that produces media for a wide range of organizations and institutions. Oh, and Villy (who, we are proud to say, is an avid listener of our show) is a hoot – she and Eric sat down at BAYCAT’s studios in San Francisco for a lively whirlwind of a conversation. Don’t miss this one.

59 MIN2019 OCT 31
Comments
Villy Wang Blazes a Trail

Trabian Shorters Takes Us To School at ComNet 2019

This is the third in our bonus series of keynote speeches from ComNet 2019. Trabian Shorters is the CEO and Founder of BMe Community, which provides fellowships for Black leaders in the US, and which trains organizations in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Trabian’s amazing talk explains his work to promote what he calls “asset framing” – describing people by their aspirations and talents rather than a perceived challenge or stereotype. If you are working in social justice in any way, shape, or form, you simply MUST listen to this incredibly valuable lesson in effective communications. This episode is long, but it’s worth it!

76 MIN2019 OCT 24
Comments
Trabian Shorters Takes Us To School at ComNet 2019

Desmond Meade Unites the Voters of Florida in the Cause of Justice

In 2018, Desmond Meade helped pull off the unthinkable. He united Florida voters by leading the campaign to pass Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative that restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions. The initiative passed by nearly thirty percentage points – a rout in a state that is famous for being split down the middle. The following year Desmond was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. In October of 2019, Desmond received the Clarence B. Jones Impact Award from the Communications Network. The award is presented to a leader who has used strategic communications and data to demonstrably elevate and advance issues, influence attitudes and beliefs, and inspire action in pursuit of social change. In this special edition of Let’s Hear It, we present Desmond’s acceptance speech, which co-host Eric Brown called one of the “most exciting and meaningful twenty-seven minutes I have ever experienced.” Desmond tells the story of his own struggles with addiction, incarceration, and redemption, and leaves us all with an extraordinary lesson about how to unite people across their differences. You absolutely, positively don’t want to miss this episode.

34 MIN2019 OCT 22
Comments
Desmond Meade Unites the Voters of Florida in the Cause of Justice

Stacey Abrams at ComNet 2019 – Let’s Get to Work

Stacey Abrams is one of the most exciting and inspiring leaders of our time. Last week, she came to the Communications Network conference and gave the kind of speech that reminds us why we're in this business. Then she sat down with Communications Network CEO Sean Gibbons and took questions from the audience of a thousand people who had listened with rapt attention punctuated by explosions of laughter, applause, and gratitude. If you missed this amazing event, we've captured it here for you. If you heard it and were blown away like so many others, you might like to listen again. In either case, it was an extraordinary moment.

64 MIN2019 OCT 9
Comments
Stacey Abrams at ComNet 2019 – Let’s Get to Work
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